5 Study Tips for College Students

So you’re half way through your freshman year of college and you are completely shocked by the quantity and quality of work that is expected from your college professors.  Don’t panic!  It’s not uncommon for new college students to struggle with a college-level work load.

In this post, I’ll discuss 5 study tips that you can use to increase your performance in the classroom.

Attend Class – Duh!  I know it may seem like a no brainer, but believe it or not, a lot of college freshman just don’t attend class consistently.  You should try to attend every single class session.  If for some reason you miss class, you should make it a point to quickly catch up on the material that you missed.  This will ensure that you can complete your homework assignments and do well on exams.

Get A Buddy – Make an effort to get contact information for at least one person in each of your classes.  Why?  Because if you miss a class, then you can contact this person right away to get access to the information that you missed (i.e. lecture notes, copies of handouts, etc.).  You can also return the favor if this student ever misses class.

Study Outside of Class – As a rule of thumb, you should be spending twice as much time studying outside of the classroom each week as you do in the classroom.  For example, if you spent 3 hours in Chemistry class this week, then you should spend another 6 hours outside of the classroom studying the material that was taught in class and completing homework assignments.  This is a very important rule.  Those students who actually dedicate the necessary time and effort into each class rarely fail classes.

How To Study – There are many different ways that a person can choose to study the material that was learned in class.  One way is to get a “study buddy.”  A study buddy is a classmate that you can meet with outside of class to review the material that you learned in class.  Sometimes studying with another person can help you stay focused and retain more information.  Also, it’s possible that your “study buddy” can explain the same concepts that your instructor explained in a different and easier way to understand.

In addition to the “study buddy” concept, you can also do the same thing with a “study group.”  The only difference is that you study with a group of classmates, as opposed to just one classmate.  Similar to the “study buddy” theory, groups of students can usually keep each other motivated.

Something else that you should consider is flash cards.  Creating flash cards on index cards are a great way to retain information and they are easier to carry around than a bulky notebook or textbook.

Also, try studying for tests a week or two in advance.  Studying more frequently is oftentimes more effective then hours of cramming the night before the exam.  Slow and consistent studying will usually earn you a higher grade.

Campus Tutors – Find out if your school has an on-campus tutoring center.  If so, use it!  The tutoring center usually has tutors on hand to assist with a wide variety of subject at no additional cost to the student.  A tutoring program can be extremely valuable for students who are putting in effort, but are still having a hard time mastering a topic.

If you use the tips provided above, then you should be able to better keep up with the demands of a college schedule.  Good Luck!


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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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